Elizabeth Shane


We are pleased to showcase the poetry of Elizabeth Shane, whose writing has been a great comfort to many survivors of sexual abuse. ‘The Fire That Feeds My Soul’ is the last in a series of five of Elizabeth’s poems.  It has been an honour for Operation Emotion to have hosted her five poems over the last twelve months.


 I was the captive flame, trapped in a tiny ball of smoke induced haze,

Too stunned to be aware,

Floating through space in the darkest of night,

Re-emerging in the shadow of day.

Who watched over the silent danger?

Was it when I clasped my hands together or uncoiled my body for the last time?

That first moment,

Breaking of solitude,

A new mind,

An indestructible force carrying the fire that feeds my soul.

The passion –

To climb

To breathe

To survive

To smile

To be present in the world interlocking the power burning so brightly within.

To be awake

To be awoken

Aware of the changes,

The force that drives us to live, love and thrive,

Granting opportunities to forge a new purpose in our being.

Unfolding each layer is central in breaking down barriers,

Unspeakable walls built as a fortress for protection,

My weakness is not defined by the suffocation of freedom that immobilised my voice

But my strength,

To share vulnerability of my scars, the cracks, to re-balance the world and broaden the possibility of creating a beautiful understanding of ourselves.

© Written by Elizabeth Shane (Author of Behind the Mask)




About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Shane is an author, poet, mother, community volunteer, survivor of child sexual abuse.
Before writing her first book, ‘Silhouette of a Songbird’, Elizabeth had never read or written any poetry. Her previous counsellor suggested finding a hobby as an outlet which Elizabeth did somewhat reluctantly, joining a community choir. To her surprise, singing in choir had such a positive impact on her mental health, it encouraged Elizabeth to try other creative avenues taking up singing lessons, drama and creative writing to help improve her lack of confidence. With encouragement and support from her drama teacher, Elizabeth began to explore poetry as a creative tool to express all the bottled-up feelings, anger and pain she struggled to articulate as a child through to adulthood.

As well as giving talks about her lived experiences, supporting charities and organisations through writing, podcasts and speaking engagements, Elizabeth received letters from members of the Royal Family in response to offering her book for their charitable causes. Elizabeth uses her poetry to give strength and hope for all those who are searching to make sense of a traumatic past, to empower others to have a voice and right to be heard. She continues to raise awareness of the complexities and impact of childhood trauma to break the stigma and silence around difficult conversations, including the benefits of creative arts.